Redditch United 1, Solihull Moors 1
Redditch’s impressive pre-season campaign continued with this draw against Conference North side Solihull, substitute Edwin Ahenkorah cancelling out Michael Taylor’s strike for the visitors.
But with some more assured finishing, the Reds would have been celebrating another victory against higher league opposition.
The fact that they squandered so many good chances may be a cause for concern for manager Liam McDonald.
Striker Jamie Spencer has missed through injury having netted regularly earlier on in pre-season. Wingmen Jamie Molyneux and Jermaine Hylton have chipped in with their share but with Spencer on the sidelines again this weekend, there will be questions over who leads the United attack when the Southern League Premier campaign starts on Saturday.
Ricardo Reid filled the role for nearly an hour in this match before a reshuffle saw Molyneux pushed into the central position with goalscorer Ahenkorah slotting in on the right.
On a positive note, at least chances are being created and this was due largely to the pace and fancy footwork of Molyneux and Hylton coupled with an outstanding display from Ashley Sammons who rose to the challenge of captaining the side.
The midfield maestro was off target with a couple of early efforts but then forced Moors keeper Deale Chamberlain into action to keep out a low-struck effort.
On 18 minutes, a sublime through ball from Sammons sent Reid clear but, after lifting his effort over the sprawled keeper, defender Jordan Tunnicliffe was able to clear off the line.
Four minutes later, and with their first shot on target, Solihull took the lead. This time it was Reece Fleet with the defence-splitting pass but Taylor fared better than his opposite number with a shot that crept under Reds keeper Sam Hornby.
Further chances followed for the home side with a George Carlisle snap shot well saved by Chamberlain and a Hylton effort blocked in front of goal. But the pick of their first half chances was a flowing move right on half-time that culminated in Sammons picking out Jordan Jones but his shot hit the foot of the post.
The Reds continued to dominate the chances after the break and deservedly equalised on 62 minutes when a good run and cross from Molyneux was turned onto the post by a Moors defender and Ahenkorah was on hand to stab home the rebound.
Three minutes later and only a good save from Chamberlain stopped Hylton from handing Redditch the lead.
Max Loveridge was the supplier on that occasion and the teenager put in another excellent display in midfield to stifle the visitors.
Their only chance of the half came three minutes from time when a long-range Fleet shot was deflected into the arms of Hornby.
Reds: Hornby, Jones (Recci 63), Flanagan (Caines 63), Loveridge, Mutton, Scarr, Sammons (Oshungbure 56), Carlisle, Reid (Ahenkorah 56), Hylton, Molyneux.